Celebrate Fall Baking With Kids

Celebrating Fall Baking with Kids: Can you smell the cinnamon? There is nothing better than celebrating fall baking with the kids.| #fallbaking #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #bakingwithkidsCelebrate Fall Baking With Kids ~ Episode 479

I love to bake and there is nothing better than celebrating fall baking with the kids. Just thinking about the warm spicy scents of pumpkin, ginger, and more brings back the joys of creating memories with our kids.

Thanks to our sponsor, CTC Math for a great curriculum for all ages K-12. Check them out at CTCMath.com

Can you smell that cinnamon? Fall is the best time to get your hands dirty and bake up some goodies with the kids. No matter your dietary restrictions, there are plenty of recipes online for all. Baking encourages children to get involved and even children who are typically unenthusiastic when it comes to hands-on activities such as crafts are often engaged when it comes to baking. I believe baking also instills good lifetime skills, such as cooperation and patience. Nothing is fast when it comes to making something without a box mix and when I talk about fall baking I’m suggesting homemade recipes.

Living in southwest Florida, the humidity is a factor in baking. Things go stale quickly if they are not stored in a cool place. If you live in a colder, less humid climate this may not be an issue for you! If so, that is great!

Safety is also important when baking. The kids learned quickly that heat burns! There are plenty of books in the library or bookstores that focus on baking with kids. These books are a good starting point if this is something that is new to you. When I was a younger mom, I had lots more energy and patience. I had a poster board with our most popular recipes written out. I used it for beginning reading practice. I also taught the children math and fractions while baking. As homeschool parents, we can use anything and everything at our disposal to teach our children.

Baking teaches so many skills:

  1. Measuring (precise)
  2. Fractions
  3. Reading
  4. Science (chemical reactions)
  5. Safety practices

And, those five are just off the top of my head. I think my favorite memory of baking is that it teaches a life skill. We’ve baked everything from loaf bread, french bread, and complex rolls. Of course, our favorites are cookies and candy.

During the fall we love anything with cinnamon and ginger. It is also the time of year that I begin making cookie dough which freezes very well ahead of time for the holiday. Cookies such as ginger and sugar cookies that you roll out and shape are the best to freeze. They can easily be thawed in the refrigerator and baked in small or large batches.

Quick guide for fall baking:

  1. What is it that you’d like to make? Tried and true recipes or something new, such as a gingerbread house or gingerbread men?
  2. When do you have time to bake? Schedule this. (You can use this as “school”, especially for the younger grades or middle school taking “home-ec”)
  3. What is your goal? Do you want to incorporate school-type activities or just have fun making memories?
  4. Make a list of recipes you’d like to tackle.
  5. Buy ingredients or use what you have on hand.

Go over the rules with the children before you get started so that you all have the same expectations. Kids want to dive in and do everything. Kids also love to touch everything. This can be dangerous when baking. What are your rules? Here are a few, add to this list:

  1. Washing hands before beginning
  2. Do not taste anything without permission
  3. Safety – heat burns and whirling blades of a mixer should be avoided.
  4. Wait for instruction
  5. Share or divide the jobs. One person measures, another pours, etc.
  6. Take turns. Everyone will get one!
  7. Patience. Baking is fun but it takes time.
  8. Work together and be encouraging
  9. Clean up is for everyone, so being careful cuts down on the mess
  10. Tasting is great once the food cools.

Our all-time favorite recipes are gingerbread, layer cookies (easy and fast), and homemade fudge. My focus when baking is on cookies that last the longest in terms of freshness. I have a wonderful recipe for those yummy sugar cookies, you know the big chewy kind with thick sugar sprinkles on top? However, they go stale in about two days and must be kept in the refrigerator for freshness. Keep that in mind when deciding what you want to bake. In larger households, this may not be an issue. As my daughter with eight children says, there is always someone who likes something we are making and the kids are less discriminating when it comes to freshness than adults.

To Be Creative or Not?

One of my favorite tips when baking is to be creative without changing the recipe too much. In other words, you can be creative with shapes or decorating, but try to stick to the original recipe at least the first time. My mother was a good cook but not a baker because she baked by “eye” similar to her cooking. “By eye” is hit-and-miss. Sometimes her cookies would be great and other times, not! For example, if you are making a strawberry shortcake, you can decide not to add sugar to the strawberries, or to add sugar. If you add sugar to strawberries they must be eaten that day or the next, because the sugar causes the strawberries to shed water which makes that yummy strawberry juice which soaks into the cake. But after a few days, the strawberries taste rubbery.

What will you bake?

So, what will you bake? All Recipes is a website that has some good ideas. They have a list of easy-to-make recipes for kids. There are many other websites as well that you can use to bake with children. I’ve found that kids are happy to just count as you put in the ingredients and I usually have the kids break eggs, or measure flour separately, and I would put in the flour, etc. in the actual mix we used. Eggs are possibly the last skill I have the kids practice! There is something they love about eggs and wanting to break them is high on their list. If you are willing to have a mess, it is a good idea to give them a large bowl so you can fish out the shells. You can then use the eggs in your actual mix. I do this myself as it seems that these days the egg shells are so brittle and it is difficult to crack eggs without shells even for adults.

Pumpkin is also a key ingredient in holiday baking. I buy baking pumpkins in bulk when I can, either from a wholesaler or from the grocery store. I bake the pumpkins by cutting them in half (my husband or one of my stronger kids takes care of this for me!) I place the pumpkin halves face down in a large baking pan with a small amount of water. Once the pumpkins are soft I can easily scoop out the pulp and usually puree this in a food processor. I then store one cup pumpkin individually so that when I am ready to bake I can pull out a bag and allow it to defrost before using it.

Fruit bread is a great thing to make and is easy. The best thing is you do not need a mixer and the kids enjoy string (most of the time). I make pumpkin, banana, and apple bread. I’ve had zucchini or lemon bread as well. These are great for a quick breakfast and best of all the children enjoy eating what they bake! I found small coated loaf pans online that can be used for baking and you can use them to gift people without worrying about getting the pan back or trying to unmold and wrap your loaf. I used these when sending my college kids care packages and they arrived well through the mail!

As promised from the recording! Here is my tried and true muffin mix for you to enjoy.

Quick Recipe for Muffin Mix:

You can make all types of muffins using this handy mix. You can store this in an airtight container for months!

8 cups of flour, 3 cups of sugar, 3 Tablespoons of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of salt

Mix:

  • 2 ¾ cup of dry mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips OR blueberries OR cut-up apples (add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon)

Directions: In a large bowl or 8-cup mixing bowl place the dry mix, and make a well in the middle. In another bowl melt the butter and add the milk and whisk the egg. Pour this mixture into the dry mix and use a fork to mix until incorporated. Do not overmix. Add your ingredients. You can make plain muffins or spice them up with chocolate chips or fruit. When I make apple muffins I swirl in 4 large tablespoons of apple butter after I add the apples. If you feel like you have overmixed the batter you can add 1 teaspoon of baking powder to the mix. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean from the center.

 

 

 

 

Speak Your Mind

*

Get your FREE  Holiday Checklist, Planner and Printables just in time for Christmas!